January’s retail trade increased 6.3% year-on-year in real terms, accelerating from 4.9% y/y in December, Ukraine’s state statistics agency Ukrstat reported on February 20.
At the same time, retail sales plunged 23% month-on-month in real terms.
Regionally, highest retail growth occurred in January in Kyiv (11.3% y/y), Ivano-Frankivsk (10.8% y/y) and the Ukrainian-controlled Donetsk regions (9.8% y/y). It was slowest in the Chernihiv (1.3% y/y), Kirovohrad (1.6% y/y) and Volyn (2.0% y/y) regions.
Evgeniya Akhtyrko at Kyiv-based brokerage Concorde Capital believes that the accelerated growth of retail trade indicates that consumer demand remains high and will help to maintain a moderate economic growth pace amid declining industrial production.
"We expect real retail trade to increase 6%-7% y/y in 2019, driven by real disposable income growth (mostly wages)," she wrote in a note on February 22.
Czech National Bank (CNB) is likely to raise its interest rates three times this year, due to weaker koruna
Slovakia´s unemployment rate dropped by 5.16% in February 2019, down by 0.10 percentage points (pp) from January and by 0.56pp year-on-year, according to data published by the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Centre on March 21.
Wages remain considerably lower than in the EU, but when compared to productivity, the apparent labour cost advantage of the Western Balkan countries disappears, says study by World Bank and wiiw.
Russia's industrial output growth surged to 4.1% year-on-year in February, after 1.1% posted in January, according to the most recent data by Rosstat agency.
Both industrial production and construction have been weakening since beginning of this year. Industrial production contracted by 1.1% and construction by 13.2% year-on-year in January 2019, according to data by the Czech Statistics Office (CSO) publ